Madonna of the Trail refers to the twelve statues placed in the 12 states of the United States dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women. They were commissioned by the Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). They were erected in the 12 states along the National Old Trails Road (Route 40), which go from Bethesda, Maryland, to Upland, California.
The project was funded by contributions and they were made by the sculptor August Leimbach. They are made of stone, marble, granite, cement, and lead ore. The monuments are nearly ten foot tall and weight nearly five tons. They are placed on pedestals that are six foot tall and weigh twelve tons. The pedals are inscribed with information about national and regional history. Some of the inscriptions are related to the Revolutionary period.
The monuments symbolize the faith and courage of the women who conquered the wilderness with their love and strength and established permanent homes. The twelve monuments have become a source of pride for the local population. Even though the monuments were finished back in 1928, they are still in good condition because of the efforts of different local and national groups.
All the 12 monuments are available for public viewing. Some of the monuments have been relocated because of things like highway improvements. A lot of them have also been refurbished and rededicated. The monuments are looked after by community groups in each state.
The monuments are erected in Bethesda, Maryland; Beallsville, Pennsylvania; Wheeling, West Virginia; Springfield, Ohio; Richmond, Indiana; Vandalia, Illinois; Lexington, Missouri; Council Grove, Kansas; Lamar, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Springerville, Arizona; and Upland, California.
Madonna of the Trail is located at 1010 Euclid Ave, Upland, CA 91786.
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